Keftedes – Greek Meatballs with Mint Yogurt Sauce – These aromatic meatballs are perfect to bring to your summer picnics, barbecues and garden parties!
Here in America when you say meatballs, the first thing that comes into our heads is the classic Italian American dish of Spaghetti & Meatballs. However, in Greece it’s different. Meatballs are generally served as an appetizer or part of meze, a variety of small plates. The meatballs are usually served with some kind of savory yogurt sauce like the classic tzatziki. In my version, I created a minty yogurt sauce, using the flavors of Greece. I guarantee these Keftedes – Greek Meatballs with Mint Yogurt Sauce will be at a hit at your next party. They are usually fried, however I opted for a healthier version by baking them. You can even put them on the grill now that the summer barbecue season is about to start.
I have even made them mini sized in the past to serve at cocktail parties. Although these have some pork in them, simply replace the ground pork with ground beef or make them 100% lamb and with Ramadan approaching, consider them as an option for Iftar.
Here are some more Greek/Middle Eastern inspired foods to complete your meze!
Want to make them Vegetarian? Use mashed chickpeas for some flavorful “faux” meatballs!
IN THE MAKING
Serve with the yogurt sauce and pita bread or slice them up and make a sandwich with lettuce and tomato.
Keftedes – Greek Meatballs with Mint Yogurt Sauce
- 25 oz. ground lamb or beef
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic cloves
- 1 large red onion pulverized to pulp in the food processor
- 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- Yogurt Sauce Ingredients:
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sumac + more for garnish
- In a large bowl, combine ground meat, garlic, onion, parsley, mint, oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Add egg and breadcrumbs. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray 2 cookie sheets with non stick spray.
- Form into meatballs and place on the cookie sheets.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Turn meatballs. Bake for another 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the lemon juice, mint, salt and pepper to the yogurt in a bowl.
- Whisk well. Garnish with more sumac.
- Serve meatballs with the mint yogurt sauce.